Ashoka is Neela Vermeire Creations’s follow-up to its inaugural perfumes: Mohur, Trayee, and Bombay Bling. Mohur is a bloomy rose, Trayee is a contemplative spice, and Bombay Bling is a joyful explosion of mango. All three celebrate India, and as a set they are a complete idea, a journey from start to finish. So personally, I was very curious to see what Neela Vermeire and perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour would create for the house’s next release.
The straightforward answer is that they created a perfume that smells delicious. Like fig, pastry dough, sweetened milk, sandalwood, suede, and tiny white flowers. Some of the “stories” within Ashoka are familiar: the warmth of a Mediterranean sun on a fig tree in Philosykos; the nutty doughy Bois Farine that always leaves me wondering how it manages to smell so wonderfully of skin without smelling at all like skin; and the velvety suede of Bottega Veneta. Ashoka is luxurious and unexpected, which is just up my alley.
When Ashoka arrived and I uncapped the vial, I heard applause in my head. I didn’t have any expectations, and yet I would say that the direction Ashoka has gone is surprising in the best possible way. It is a relatively quiet perfume that exudes confidence and individuality. I have nothing to back this up other than how the perfume smells to me, but the impression I have from smelling it is that nothing about Ashoka was rushed, or driven by questions about what the market wants to smell from Neela Vermeire Creations now.
Ashoka smells, just as the first three launches did, like an idea that Neela Vermeire had been thinking about for a long time, and wanted to present to the world. What could be better than that?
For another review of Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka, see The Non-Blonde. Image and sample courtesy Neela Vermeire Creations. Reviews are never compensated or sponsored.